Instincts and Basic Needs – Reblog

Movie Thoughts - In Time (2011)
Drawing by Adrian Serghie

   Today was a very long day and I feel how my energy level is below the one a worm has. Because of this, my concentration diminished and my power of concentration also (if this is a worse blog post than usual, that’s the reason). Noticing this about my current condition, I remembered that our physical condition has a huge impact on our mental one, simply because our instincts become stronger once we lack some basic needs (like food and rest).

   The post I wrote about this “phenomenon” summarizes the idea that we need to pay attention and good care to our physical condition, especially when we have to make an important decision (the original post can be found here).

   Have you noticed how our mood shifts when we’re hungry? That’s because one of our basic needs is not satisfied and this tries to take over our mind so we can focus on finding food. This is a primary instinct and it affects us more that we would want to, but most of the time we can control it because our conscience is in place. But have you noticed how this control drops when there are some substances in our body that silences our conscience (like alcohol or others) and we get more driven by our primary instincts? The most common example is calling or texting your ex when you’re drunk (some buried feelings pop up and there is no filter to stop them).

    All those basic feelings coming from our instincts (hunger, fear, sexual drive etc.) are the best at changing our mood and I think we should be careful when acting upon them.

    They say we should never make decisions when we’re happy or when we’re sad because we’re not rational at those moments. I think that the same principle applies to the moments when we are driven by our instincts.

   What decisions did you make when you were driven by feelings and you regretted afterwards?

8 thoughts on “Instincts and Basic Needs – Reblog

      1. I regretted it…but on the other hand I was sure same time that conflicts would have escalated further.
        Today, I think the timing was bad because I wasn´t ready for a new job.
        I should have quited much earlier.

  1. I have ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) and when I’m feeling much worse and need to be in bed, I feel like I turn into a different person. Eckhart Tolle refers to the pain body and man, when mine flares, it’s like a demon spews out haha.

    I spend A LOT of time on these bad days doing body scans where I locate the pain, hold it, tell it that I see and acknowledge and feel sympathy for it. It amazes me how powerful a process it is to do that.

    If I listened to myself in those times, I would.break up with my partner and drive my car really fast into a brick wall.

    I’ve also quit jobs and boy was that satisfying … short term, anyway 🙂

    1. Very interesting! It seems that pain is just a sign for something, but the trigger doesn’t necessarily need to be from the outside world. How long does it take to complete a process like you just described?

  2. You mention fear as on of the basic instincts. Whenever I’m in a state of fear, or of anger — which tends to have fear behind it — then usually what I say is something I regret. So the decision to speak is I guess what I regret, although there’s also a decision (judgment) behind what I say or how I say it. I think you’re right about power of these instincts to cloud judgment. I’ve even say they can distort our perception. The suggestion to remember this in connection with important decisions especially seems really crucial.

    I have to try to notice when I’m feeling that way, then remember to be very cautious about speaking, and to remember why I need to be cautious.

    1. Yes, very true! You’ve probably heard it is recommended to wait one or two days before sending an angry message or email because the way we feel in that particular moment interferes with our cognitive ability.

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